Dropout out of Cambridge? Watch

Caphalores
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Hey guys,

this is my first thread here on student room, so just bear with me

(Edit: The big block of text is just a bit of background on why I want to change course/uni. If you don't feel like reading my rambling, which I totally understand, I would still highly appreciate it if you could leave some comments on the questions below)

I'm in my first year of my Cambridge undergrad Natural Sciences course with the initial aim to specialise in Physics later on. When I came here, I thought I would be doing Physics, Material Sciences and Computer Science as my module, but our directors of studies strongly discouraged everyone not to pick Computer Science, so I ended up with Earth Science instead. Thing is, I'm not interested in Earth and Material Science at all, the only reason for me to do these two subjects would be to get to specialise in Physics.
However, this is also a problem now. When applying to uni, I was in between Physics and Economics/Business Admin, but chose Physics in the end because I thought I could still do Economics/Business after getting a Physics degree and not vise versa. Note here that I was never going to be a scientist, engineer etc. I want to work in the business/financial industry and become an entrepreneur (not a science-based though, I can't do RnD). So the main reason to go for Physics was that I thought I'd enjoy it...but as you can imagine, I'm not.
I noticed right from the beginning that I'm not enjoying my course, but tried to artificially awaken my interest somehow. Then, I tried switching to Economics in week 3/4, but our Economics Director of Studies said it was too late and I might be able to switch next year to Part II (directly switch into 2nd year). After that, he changed his mind and said I'd probably have to go back into first year and redo interviews...
That wouldn't be a problem if I really enjoyed studying here, but I'm not. Terms here are very hectic, so most of the time I'm just solving problems here under high pressure to finish work until the next supervision. I'm already falling behind lectures (allegedly that's expected) and then I'll need to catch up with the work during my vacation (again, expected). So I don't quite see the point of having shorter terms! It just feels like they want the researchers to waste less time on us by making the terms significantly shorter.
On another note, frankly, I'm a city boy, always lived in big major cities and I'm not liking the town life here in Cambridge that much. I also feel like life here is a lot less social as students just tend to stay in their rooms or library a lot. I can also feel a cultural gap where the vast majority of English students stick together and then, we internationals kinda try to mix in, but then we don't have a lot of time anyway and most internationals just end up staying quite isolated from their college peers (at least in my college). Basically, I feel like I barely have a social life.
But once again, I wouldn't mind sacrificing a major chunk of my private life to study if I found my course interesting, and if I found it useful for my career, but now it just seems like, I would have a better time at a different uni/business school studying Economics or Business Admin. I would get better grades/degree because I would be more interested in it (I just noticed that this post is already very long, so I'm not gonna elaborate on why I think this way) and then I could move to a city that I actually like. Don't get me wrong, Cambridge is amazing, but I don't think it's for me to live in...

I'm so sorry for rambling so much and writing this big block of text, but what do you guys think? Should I change subjects and drop out of Cambridge? Or should I just try to change to Cambridge Economics course? (Problem with that is they want me to get a 2:1 for that, but I really don't feel like finishing this year and I don't know if I can get a 2:! simply 'cause I can't motivate myself)
Also, will companies, e.g. consulting firms, see me dropping out as a sign for lack of motivation/perseverance etc?


PS: Another reason I chose Physics over Business/Econ was that so many people are studying Business/Economics that I wanted differentiate myself from the others with a BA in Physics, but now I'm thinking that I speak 3 major business languages to pretty much native fluency. Wouldn't that differentiate me already?
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Reality Check
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Hmm, there's a lot in that post to digest. A few questions to start with, if you don't mind:

  • What college are you at?
  • Did you consult only your DoS or have you spoken to your Tutor as well?
  • If you're in your first year of NatSci, aren't you doing IA: next year will be IB and your final year would be Part II. Or at least it was when I did it. I don't understand why you're saying that in your second year you could transfer directly to Part II.
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the bear
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maybe you could go to China to study economics etc ?
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aelms10
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Hi,

I am currently waiting for decisions to be made on my university application, and when applying I was debating whether or not to apply for (Biological) Natural Science at Cambridge. I got given some advice by my 6th form co-coordinator - it's better to get a 1st from another high-ranking, well-respected university (e.g Bristol or Edinburgh) than a 2:2 , or worse a 3rd, from Cambridge. And if you are not particularly enjoying the material you are studying, this could be a real possibility.

I obviously am just offering my opinion here, but I think you should try to complete the first year if you can stand it, and then drop-out. You have paid £9000 (or more? I'm not sure how much the international fees are) for a year's tuition at one of the best universities in the world, so you might as well get your money's worth. Take every opportunity that you can in Cambridge; before you make the college/university aware of your intentions to leave, set up an internship at a top firm within the industry you want to study with their connections. This will not only allow you to confirm your interest, but will give you a fantastic experience to be able to put onto your new personal statement. Cambridge is an amazing city, despite it not being a large one, so if you don't intend to stay, join every society that interests you in the meantime - its not as if your end of year grades will be needed!

I honestly have no idea if companies can find out whether or not you dropped-out of a university, so it might be best to do some research on that yourself. However, if you intend to apply for other degrees elsewhere I doubt it will really matter!

Hope this was of some help to you!
Amelia

P.S. If you want to start a new course at a new university in 2017, the deadline is the 15th of January I think!
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Oceana Liang
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Do u mean you are not only hate the course but also the city Cambridge, have u thought about transferring to some unis in London to do economics ?
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Doones
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(Original post by Caphalores)
When applying to uni, I was in between Physics and Economics/Business Admin, but chose Physics in the end because I thought I could still do Economics/Business after getting a Physics degree and not vise versa. Note here that I was never going to be a scientist, engineer etc. I want to work in the business/financial industry and become an entrepreneur (not a science-based though, I can't do RnD).
Have you looked at the Management Studies Tripos?
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...gement-studies

(Original post by aelms10)
P.S. If you want to start a new course at a new university in 2017, the deadline is the 15th of January I think!
Although they typically have much later dates for transfers. Best to check direct with any target universities.

Posted from TSR Mobile
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Vodka
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Best people to give you relevant advice is your college tutor and your DoS.

In my opinion, try and switch to the economics course ASAP while in Michaelmas, even if that means getting reinterviewed and having to sit a test. No point spending 3 years doing a subject you're not interested in.
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Reality Check
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Yes, you have a two-year Part II for Economics.

I think essentially that you've answered your own questions. You're not happy with the course and changing it is rather involved. You don't like the town either. Cambridge is not the be all and end all (it can be very difficult to see that when you're there in the thick of it) and I think you'd be much better off applying to another university in a city more suited to you and do a course that you actually want to do.
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alcibiade
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You should be in a course that you WANT to do, that's definitely you. Cambridge is so intense that, if your inspiration can't get you through difficult moments (and there will be many), it could become the worst kind of slog. It's not for nothing that estimates indicate that up to 25% of Cantabrigians are depressed.

I would recommend trying to get through the first year and see how things look at the end of it. Then you can decide if it is you. If it's not, there's nothing wrong with changing your course or transferring.
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